Theme Park Insider

Universal Orlando Raises Ticket Prices, Up to $102 a Day

February 26, 2015, 8:57 AM · As predicted, the Universal Orlando Resort raised its theme park ticket prices today, four days after rival Disney raised its prices. Universal also broke the $100 a day barrier, with a day at either of its parks now costing $102, before tax.

Diagon Alley

Here are the new theme park ticket prices at the Universal Orlando Resort:

One day, one park: $102, was $96
One day, Park-to-Park: $147, was $136

Two days, one park per day: $149.99 online ($75/day), $169.99 at the gate, was $135.99/$155.99
Two days, Park-to-Park: $194.99 online ($97.50/day), $214.99 at the gate, was $175.99/$195.99

Four days, one park per day: $169.99 online ($42.50/day), $189.99 at the gate, was $155.99/$175.99
Four days, Park-to-Park: $214.99 online ($53.75/day), $234.99 at the gate, was $195.99/$215.99

Power Pass (blockout days): $214.99, $189.99 for Florida residents
Preferred Pass: $294.99, $259.99 for Florida residents, unchanged.

Universal Orlando visitors need the Park-to-Park option in order to ride the Hogwarts Express, which shuttles visitors between the Wizarding World of Harry Potter lands in Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure.

The TL/DR; here is the Universal Orlando is more expensive than Walt Disney World (in general) for a one- or two-day visit (corrected - see comments!), but becomes significantly less expensive than Disney for longer visits, and especially so on annual passes.

Previous Coverage:

Replies (22)

February 26, 2015 at 12:06 PM · I think that Universal's ticket structure reflects its attempt to entice Orlando visitors to consider Universal Orlando as their primary vacation destination, rather than seeing it as a one or two-day diversion from a Walt Disney World vacation. If you're just going to do Universal as a one-off from Disney, you're going to pay through the nose for that. But if you choose Universal as your "home base" in Orlando, it will offer you some sweet per-day prices in return.

The question then becomes: Does Universal offer enough to make it a compelling vacation destination for three days or longer?

February 26, 2015 at 9:23 AM · What the Monkey!

Didn't they see my post about taking $3.00 off their ticket price to stick it to Disney...

What is going on here....?
I thought I had more pull around here.

February 26, 2015 at 9:50 AM · Robert, I agree that Universal is trying to go that route. They are adding new attractions, so that's a plus. On the other hand, they still don't offer enough for people who don't love thrill rides (especially motion simulators) for a long trip. I do think they'll get there, though. I personally love Universal, but a short trip is going to cost a fortune.
February 26, 2015 at 10:08 AM · There isn't that much to do in four days. You can try, but I think 2 days is enough in most cases.

If you're just there for Harry Potter, the one day Park to Park is the only ticket you need.

The high ticket prices make the choice of Disney or Universal more stark. As much as I want to see Harry Potter, I didn't in my last trip since my budget was applied towards Disney. Families with kids younger than 8 might just want to stick with Disney.

Orlando is a theme park paradise. There is just too much to do.

February 26, 2015 at 10:13 AM · Brian,

They took $3 off the Magic Kingdom's price. Is that close enough for you? ;-)

February 26, 2015 at 10:15 AM · When we vacation there we get the annual pass.Best kept secret for a Universal vacation. You can't beat the value price and the benefits, like huge room discounts, restaurant & merch. discounts. And we always find a lot to do, especially if you explore a bit. We have never been one to run from ride to ride and skip everything else. There's excellent ambiance plus Citi Walk is a great accompaniment for adults who stay on site. And there's lots & lots new attractions coming in the very near future. And yes, it sure looks like the price structure severely penalizes the tourists that are only going to take a day or two from their Disney vacation to drive down the road to Universal.
February 26, 2015 at 10:19 AM · Under Cover Tourist is selling 3day park to park tickets for $178 including tax. If you are going you should pick one up ASAP.
February 26, 2015 at 10:30 AM · Universal, you know I love you... but please stop taking cues from the "other" resort. At least Uni is adding rides and new lands like crazy to justify the price increase. With Disney, it is merely a promise of cool things to come, and then a land filled with tame "all ages" rides. Avatar, opening sometime before 2020....
February 26, 2015 at 11:12 AM · Universal and Disney are simply saying buy X-Number of packaged days or else pay top dollar...

They both want you to only visit Their parks....

I think they should play off each other success....Why not promote Orlando as a destination..... Not jack up prices every year and make the One day park intolerable....

I know, I know, competition, different companies... bla bla bla...

I still like Universal much better...

And when is BGT going to move closer to Orlando? Great Park but need to be moved....


February 26, 2015 at 11:32 AM · Disney is cheaper under a single scenario. You decide to visit AK, DHS, or EPCOT for one day only.

Universal's one day price of $102 is still cheaper than the Magic Kingdom. The park hopper option adds $50 to the Magic Kingdom's $105 admission cost or $58 to the $97 AK, DHS, or EPCOT passes for a total of $155, which is more expensive than the Universal 1 day park to park pass of $147.

Disney's 2 day hopper pass is $242, which is more expensive than the 2 day Universal Park to Park at $194.99 online price. The Universal gate price is still cheaper at $214.99.

February 26, 2015 at 12:08 PM · Just corrected the point on the two days. (I'd typed a number wrong in my notes where I was comparing things. My bad. Sorry.) Universal Orlando is more expensive than Disney for a one-day visit for the three of the four Disney parks. And -- here's the big deal -- a day or two at Universal is more expensive than adding an extra day or two at Disney once you've bought a multi-day Disney ticket.

That's how Disney uses its price structure to dissuade its visitors from defecting to Universal. But Universal is working on creating a value structure that will entice people to see Universal either as their primary vacation destination, or at least as a co-destination with Disney. I don't think Universal wants to compete against Day Five or Day Six at Disney. It wants to compete with Day One at Disney.

February 26, 2015 at 12:14 PM · People will consider Universal to be their "primary vacation destination" with a third park that emphasizes kids under 12 years old. The Magic Kingdom with its focus on princesses and pirates are too enticing for families with young kids. They aren't served at Universal with rides that are a bit too exciting and have height requirements. I suggest Universal add a Polar Express land.
February 26, 2015 at 2:43 PM · Ugh, I hate Polar Express. But I agree that Universal needs to make a play for young kids. The KidZone in USF is badly dated and in need of redevelopment. The Minions are a good franchise with appeal to young kids, but Comcast would do well to take a hard look at Sprout and devise a long-range plan to make a play for young kids than includes building a brand across television, films and its theme parks.
February 26, 2015 at 3:17 PM · I cite Polar Express because my 6 year old was screened this movie at Kindergarten. All she could talk about was this movie during Christmas time. It is quite popular when compared with Mr. Grinch that no traction with her, but the Grinch was often featured at the Universal parks. She also loved Mr. Sherman and Peabody although Dreamworks Animation took a loss with it and now Dreamworks has to sell its Glendale campus.
February 26, 2015 at 3:28 PM · Speaking of a Kidzone redo, there's a lot of buzz today about Universal approving a "fast track" redo of that area and some other refurbs as a result of the park's excellent quarterly report. Just rumors though.
February 26, 2015 at 3:39 PM · In the UK we can purchase a 2 park ticket,which can be used for 14 consecutive days for £95 ($142 ish,depending on exchange rate). We get good deals on all park tickets.
February 26, 2015 at 4:19 PM · It looks like the park to park option increased $5 to $45 per visitor. Now it is $225 for my family of five to ride a train. Unbelievable.
February 26, 2015 at 5:20 PM · Honestly, I cannot do Universal for more than 2 days. There really just is not enough there for me to stay any longer. But I can see maybe bumping it to three if it is your first time and you don't come very often.

I don't see Universal ever competing with Disney when it comes to the kid market. They just don't have enough foundation to build a brand that would ever compete with the Mouse, the Ice Queen, and the newly popular Marshmallow Superhero (Baymax).

However, if Universal wants to become a primary destination, it does need to gain more variety that appeals to the whole family. Right now, it is more of a diversion for the Potter fans, teenagers, and thrill seekers. My parents cannot ride 75% of the rides at Universal, nor can many of the younger kids. Hard to stay for multiple days when half of the family doesn't have much that appeals to them.

February 26, 2015 at 5:49 PM · Robert, we're precisely in the boat you mentioned (not the future Avatar boat, the "which park should we visit" boat).

We've been to Disney several times, but have never been to Universal. Being Harry Potter fans, we'd really like to see WWoHP, plus another 3-4 days in the theme parks. We thought about staying at WDW and adding on a day or two at UO, but Universal makes 1-2 day visits cost prohibitive. We also looked at staying at Universal and adding on a day or two at WDW to do our favorites there, but Disney makes that cost prohibitive.

So, both Disney and Universal make it difficult to visit both parks in one trip. So, we decided to pick one of the resorts and visit for 4-5 days. When you look at trips of that length, Universal's tickets are still half the price of Disney, and the onsite hotels are cheaper too. So, we chose Universal. Sure, we might run out of things to do after 2-3 days, but unlike Disney, the extra park days (after the first two) basically cost us nothing. I won't feel the need to tour "commando style" and get my money's worth if those extra days don't cost anything anyway.

February 26, 2015 at 5:47 PM · For the last 4 years (since WWoHP opened) the Preferred Annual Pass renewal total cost was $170.39. The cost for a new PAP went up but not the renewal cost.
March 2, 2015 at 8:30 AM · Apple Butter
We dont know whats being planned...an example of this is Butter Beer...Butter Beer was rarely in the books and movies yet its become huge at Universal..so who knows..maybe disney will make a blue glowing drink and maybe the land will be incredibly interactive
maybe the best thing we can do is be patient and wait to see what is introduced...as for the video this has tremendous potential
thanks
Mike

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